MSU Women’s Tennis Matches Best Start In Program History With Shutout Of Tulane
STARKVILLE – The Mississippi State women’s tennis team blanked Tulane 7-0 at State’s Rula Tennis Pavilion on Valentine’s Day Sunday. With the victory, State improved to 8-0 and matched the best start in program history, which happened in only one other season (2009).
The shutout marks the sixth in 2021 for MSU, which has limited its opponents to just two points total all year. Mississippi State has now claimed the last four meetings over Tulane. In addition, State has not lost a non-conference match in Starkville since 2013, having won 46 straight such matches during that span.
“I thought we started tentative in doubles,” head coach Daryl Greenan said. “We were a little lucky to get that point. Singles was slightly better. We definitely faced some stiff challenges in a few positions. I am proud of the way we have been competing and finding ways to win when we are not playing our best.”
State continued its success in doubles Sunday, claiming the point for the eighth time in its eight matches this season. Emma Antonaki and Alexandra Mikhailuk found themselves down 4-2 against Tulane’s Kristen Borland and Adelaide Lavery, before they battled back to win the match 6-4. By doing so, the duo extended their team-leading doubles win streak to 11, which dates back to last season.
State’s 41st-ranked tandem of Magda Adaloglou and Tamara Racine reunited for the first time this season at the top spot in the lineup against Tulane’s No. 54 Mackenzie Clark and Mary Caroline Meredith. Adaloglou and Racine downed Clark and Meredith 6-4 to clinch the doubles point and post an early 1-0 advantage for the Bulldogs. The victory marked State’s first ranked doubles victory in 2021, and enabled Adaloglou to move into a tie for ninth with Anastasia Kugakolova (2003-06) for career doubles victories at MSU all-time.
Bulldogs Chloé Cirotte and Lilian Poling were down 6-5 against the Green Wave pair of Charlotte Russell and Lahari Yelamanchili at No. 3 when play was suspended.
In singles, MSU’s 69th-ranked Antonaki squared off against TU’s No. 108 Clark on court 2. Antonaki cruised 6-2, 6-2 for her second ranked singles win in 2021 and 13th of her career. Antonaki extended her remarkable singles win streak to 15 matches, which leads the Bulldogs.
Cirotte, the current SEC Freshman of the Week, edged out the Green Wave’s Russell at the No. 6 position 6-4, 6-4 to give MSU a 3-0 lead and remain perfect (7-0) in singles dual matches in her first season in Starkville.
State’s Adaloglou rolled past Lavery 6-3, 6-2 on court 3 to clinch the match for the Bulldogs. With her triumphs in doubles and singles Sunday, the MSU veteran moved into a tie for 10th with Elna DeVilliers (2005-09) in MSU’s program history for total career victories at 115 (61 singles, 54 doubles). Adaloglou has now come out victorious in 15 of her last 17 singles affairs dating back to last spring.
On court 5, MSU’s Poling cruised past Yelamanchili 6-0 in the first set and eventually claimed a tight second set 7-6(6). The senior improved to 12-2 in singles this year, 5-0 in dual match play, and has won seven straight singles affairs. At the No. 4 spot, Mikhailuk ousted Tulane’s Borland 6-1, 6-4 for her 10th-consecutive singles victory. The Burlington, Ontario, native has claimed 12 of her last 13 singles decisions.
Racine then completed the shutout for the Maroon and White with a hard-fought 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(4) victory at the top spot in the lineup over TU’s Meredith. Racine has proven her endurance in 2021, having won all five of her singles matches that have gone to a third set. She has claimed four singles contests in a row as well as six of her last eight.
With their doubles and singles wins Sunday, Antonaki and Mikhailuk remained perfect in 2021, both now owning 20-0 overall ledgers (10-0 doubles, 10-0 singles) this spring.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to open their 2021 Southeastern Conference slate on the road at Arkansas this Thursday, Feb. 18, at 3 p.m. CT.
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